On the agenda: Transit safety, community revitalization levies, and the Edmonton Research Park

· The Pulse

This week, community and public services committee will meet on March 20, urban planning committee meets on March 21, and executive committee will meet on March 22. Recruitment for various boards and committees continues with a non-regular meeting of community and public services committee on March 24.

Here are some of the key items on the agenda:

Three members of the Community Outreach Transit Team wearing masks and uniforms in an LRT station

From Sept. 27, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022, COTT members had 2,700 general interactions, provided 250 people with ongoing follow-up support, and supported 150 people in achieving 277 short-term goals such as acquiring identification or accessing medical, addictions, and/or housing resources. (City of Edmonton)

Here are some of the other new agenda items:

  • The city is working with school boards to update the joint-use land agreement that governs the planning, assembly, design, development, and maintenance of sites for schools and parks. Updates underway include better alignment with the City Plan, the incorporation of changes to legislation, and the development of a long-term real estate strategy. Of 141 playgrounds on school board land, 64 are maintained by the city. Renewal of playgrounds is the responsibility of school boards.
  • Administration has identified four options to support residential tenants, including requesting updates to the provincial Residential Tenancies Act and creating a public online landlord registry to list landlords who consistently breach bylaws or safety codes.
  • Administration has begun developing a Mature Area Derelict Residential tax subclass, with bylaw amendments to formally establish it slated to be brought forward in the fall. The proposed tax rate for the new subclass would be the non-residential tax rate, which is about three times the general residential rate.
  • The Edmonton Arts Council recommends approval of more than $3.9 million in grants across three funding streams to support 164 organizations, including four that would receive multi-year operating funding.
  • In a report on affordable housing land assets, administration says "a predictable and sustainable funding source is needed for acquisition of land to meet projected affordable housing needs." The city's updated Affordable Housing Strategy is expected to be presented to council in October.
  • The city currently has 17 active maintenance agreements with homeowner associations, most of which are to maintain enhanced amenities (like gazebos and community gardens).
  • Proposed amendments to the Business Licence Bylaw would require the operators of designated driver services to obtain police information checks from drivers and to refuse employment to drivers who have been convicted of a serious offence. Urban planning committee will also consider an omnibus amendment to the Business Licence Bylaw that incorporates "continuous improvement" and addresses outstanding privacy concerns.

Meetings are streamed live on YouTube on the Chamber channel and River Valley Room channel.